Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), a member of Congress who was removed from committee assignments earlier this year for pushing conspiracy theories and issuing bigoted statements in her past, placed a sign next to her congressional office on Wednesday meant to mock transgender individuals.
The text of the sign hung up by Greene reads, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE” followed by “Trust The Science,” a phrase that Democrats have used to criticize Republicans who have disregarded public health measures during the coronavirus pandemic.
The sign was placed directly across the hall from the office of Rep. Marie Newman (D-Illinois), a proponent of pro-LGBTQ legislation who has a transgender daughter.
Greene and Newman had a back-and-forth this week regarding passage of the Equality Act, a bill that aims to revise the 1964 Civil Rights Act to state that discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation would be prohibited. The bill would protect against discrimination in employment and housing rules, but would also expand protections in “public accommodations” — places like retail stores, for example — and would also limit the use of a person’s or business’s religious beliefs to grant exception to transgressions against LGBTQ individuals.
Greene this week had tried to delay consideration of the bill, which is set to be voted on in the House on Thursday. Newman responded to Greene’s attempt by arguing in favor of the bill on the chamber’s floor, saying, “I’m voting to pass the Equality Act for my daughter — the strongest, bravest person I know.”
Newman later placed a transgender pride flag outside her office door, and shared a video of it on Twitter.
“Our neighbor, @RepMTG, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil,'” Newman wrote in the text accompanying the video. “Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door.”
Greene tweeted a response to Newman that purposely misgendered her daughter.
“As mothers, we all love and support our children. But your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams,” Greene wrote.
Shortly after, Greene hung up the sign outside her office door, tweeting a video of her own, imitating the wording of Newman’s earlier tweet.
Our neighbor, @RepMarieNewman, wants to pass the so-called "Equality" Act to destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) February 24, 2021
“Our neighbor, @RepMarieNewman, wants to pass the so-called ‘Equality’ Act to destroy women’s rights and religious freedoms. Thought we’d put up ours so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Greene wrote.
Democrats criticized Greene’s actions as an anti-trans attack directed at Newman’s daughter.
Rep. Sean Casten, a Democratic congressman also from Illinois, described Greene’s signage as being “sickening, pathetic, unimaginably cruel,” and said her moves were “exactly why the #EqualityAct is necessary.”
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Virginia) agreed. “Marjorie Taylor Greene’s cyberbullying her colleague’s child — the daughter of a Member of this body — with an ugly, bigoted attack is absolutely beyond the pale,” Beyer wrote in a tweet of his own. “@RepMarieNewman’s daughter deserves our colleagues’ support, and has mine. Nobody deserves to be treated that way.”
While Greene and others claim to be following science when it comes to their views on gender, scientific experts have shown these positions to be dangerous, anti-scientific bigotry.
Opponents of LGBTQ rights, like Greene, often state that they will not acknowledge transgender persons’ pronouns or even their existence, and oftentimes quip that “facts don’t care about your feelings” while doing so, Simón(e) D Sun, a doctoral candidate in the Tsien Lab at New York University’s Neuroscience Institute, noted in a blog for Scientific American in 2019. But that catchphrase, and others like them, contradict scientific understanding of gender.
“The irony in all this is that these ‘protectors of enlightenment’ are guilty of the very behavior this phrase derides,” Sun wrote. “Though often dismissed as just a fringe internet movement, they espouse unscientific claims that have infected our politics and culture.”
“The science is clear and conclusive: sex is not binary, transgender people are real. It is time that we acknowledge this,” Sun added. “Defining a person’s sex identity using decontextualized ‘facts’ is unscientific and dehumanizing.”
Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project, noted the unlikelihood of the Equality Act passing the Senate during this session and called on elected officials who support the legislation to take steps beyond a symbolic vote.
“I hope that every politician making themselves feel good by voting for the Equality Act while trans kids are being attacked in state legislatures, disproportionately homeless and unemployment and systemically denied health care, also does something concrete to defend trans lives,” Strangio tweeted.
I hope that every politician making themselves feel good by voting for the Equality Act while trans kids are being attacked in state legislatures, disproportionately homeless and unemployment and systemically denied health care, also does something concrete to defend trans lives.
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) February 25, 2021